This afternoon the Carolina Panthers announced their team captains for the 2011 season, with one noticeable surprise. The usual suspects are there: Steve Smith, Jon Beason and Jordan Gross are once again captains, while they are joined by first time captains Thomas Davis, Jason Baker and finally, safety Charles Godfrey.
Of this list it's Godfrey that leaps off the page. Much maligned for his unwillingness to wrap up, always going for the big hit, it's clear that high motor and ball hawking ability is prized by the hard nosed Ron Rivera and defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. As a whole, Godfrey had an excellent preseason, but the jump from 'good safety' to team captain is a big one. Now he'll be integral in organizing and motivating the secondary, a group who as a whole are fairly devoid of veteran talent. This should be an interesting test for the 4th year player.
One wonders if the move to name Godfrey as captain isn't some kind of indictment on Chris Gamble, after all, Gamble is the highest paid and longest tenured Panther in the secondary. Typically, Carolina opt for seniority in these situations and the last time I remember a younger player getting the nod as a captain it was Jon Beason. We can only hope Godfrey develops into the same kind of leader.